The new GTS’s exterior identifying features are familiar from the last one: think black badges, black alloy wheels and plenty of oh-so-2021‘dark chrome’ styling features. The Targa gets a darkened faux rollover hoop too, if you like that sort of thing. On the inside you get a GT-specification steering wheel, lots of ‘Race-Tex’ suede upholstery, some new trim décor options and – if you go for a manual rather than a two-pedal ‘PDK’ car – a slightly stubbier gearlever than an equivalent Carrera S gets, for a shorter, quicker shift action. There’s also an all-new ‘Porsche Communication Management 6.0’ infotainment system which comes with deep integration of Apple Music and Podcast services, as well as wired smartphone mirroring for Android handsets (at last).
Porsche offers the usual raft of dynamics-enhancing options, among them lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes, active anti-roll bars and four-wheel steering. Go for a GTS Coupe, though, and you can have the four-wheel steering thrown in as part of Porsche’s Lightweight Package; it cuts 25kg from the GTS’s homologated kerbweight via the fitment of carbonfibre bucket seats, lightweight glazing, a lightweight 12-volt battery, and by the jettisoning of the car’s occasional back seats – and it also adds a few aerodynamic tweaks to the car’s bodywork. Our test car had that package, and among many other things was a reminder that Weissach’s buckets might be the most comfortable fixed-backrest sports seats of their kind that you’ll find in any comparable car in the world. They look quite hardcore, but you could genuinely do 500-mile days in them without the slightest complaint.
Even so, the GTS’ recipe sounds very ‘mini-GT3’ – doesn’t it? And just when Porsche dealers needed something to offer buyers who weren’t fortunate enough to have been offered the hugely sought-after real thing: how convenient. On the road, though, the new car is a significantly milder-mannered, daily-drivable thing than Porsche’s latest trackday special; it can be that bit faster, flatter, grippier and more exciting than a regular ‘992’, but it’s also hardly any coarser or less supple-riding.
That it’s rawer-sounding and more dramatic than a Carrera S certainly ought to please those who have considered the regular ‘992’ a bit soft and unexciting hitherto. There’s perceptibly more urgency to the way the GTS accelerates through the mid-range, still lots of free-revving flexibility and stamina beyond 6000rpm, and a clearer and more compelling Porsche-typical turbine howl about the engine note when you’ve got the exhaust valves fully open and the throttle flexed. That’s all just the ticket. A little bit of turbo lag is apparent under big, sudden pedal applications, but only enough to add welcome spice to proceedings.